Green Lake, the largest freshwater lake on Hawaii’s Big Island, has completely disappeared, another victim of the Kilauea volcano, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Lava from Fissure 8 begin pouring into the lake on June 2, turning it into a roiling cauldron. A thick, white plume of water vapor billowed hundreds of feet over the lake. It took only an hour and half for the molten rock to evaporate the entire body of water, which was about 200 feet deep.
SFGATE Hawaii correspondent Jeannie Cooper wrote about Green Lake, located near the intersection of highways 132 and 137, in 2012:
“Just outside the gates was the Kapoho Farm Stand, where a woman universally known as Smiley sells papayas, bananas and, for $5, admission to Green Lake, a deep freshwater pool in a crater atop Green Mountain (Pu’u Kapoho). Local legend has it that Jacques Cousteau tried to plumb its depths in a submarine and gave up trying.”
Green Lake, also known as Ka Wai a Pele, was about 400 years old. It had been a popular swimming hole for ages. According to legend, Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanos, bathed in the lake when she first came to the island.